mon 16/09/2019

Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe – blazing-coloured, kick-ass carnival

Welcome to A Midsummer Night’s Dream as carnival – a blazing-coloured, hot-rhythmed, kick-ass take in which Oberon appears at one point as a blinged-up Elizabeth I and Puck exerts his powers as a flash-mob. Last month the glitter-ball hedonism of...

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First Person: Damian Cruden on reinvigorating the Bard away from London with Shakespeare's Rose

How we deliver culture in the modern day is complex. There are many misconceptions about where and who is capable of leading the nation’s cultural charge. The accepted conceit is that if culture doesn’t emanate from certain places, like London or...

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London Mozart Players, Davan Wetton, St Giles Cripplegate - rousing Shakespearean revel

The festival Summer Music in City Churches is in only its second year, filling a gap left by the demise of the long-running City of London Festival. This year’s festival had the theme of Words and Music and offered an enticing programme of recitals...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bridge Theatre review – gender-juggling romp

Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre is a feat of exuberant brilliance, a gender-juggling romp that takes Shakespeare’s subversive text and polishes it so that it glints and shines like a glitterball at a disco. No holds...

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Falstaff, The Grange Festival review - belly laughs and bags of fun

What is the perfect country house opera? A Midsummer Night’s Dream? L’elisir? Cenerentola? Figaro? All are strong contenders, but in the absence of anyone brave enough to stage Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest the winner – surely –...

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The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe review - a gallimaufry of acting styles

Need Shakespeare 's Falstaff charm to be funny? Those warm, indulgent feelings won by Mrisho Mpoto in the amazing Globe to Globe's Swahili Merry Wives and by Christopher Benjamin in a period-pretty version are rarely encouraged by this season's...

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Henry IV Parts 1 & 2/Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - helter-skelter ensemble history trilogy

Henry IV Part One (***)Women as Hal, Hotspur and Falstaff? It's been done before, and superlatively well, in Phyllida Lloyd's Shakespeare-in-prison trilogy (Henry IV Part One, with several crucial scenes from Part Two, between Julius Caesar and The...

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Ali Smith: Spring review – green shoots, dark fears

Stopped in the street for a vox pop by a BBC interviewer keen to “fill your air” with strife and bile, a character in Spring retorts that “there’s a world out there bigger than Brexit, yeah?” Newshound critics, take note. The symbolically named Brit...

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Elizabeth I/Macbeth, English Touring Opera review - elegance and eeriness

A crash, a scurry, a long, lilting serenade – the overture to Rossini’s Elizabeth I sounds oddly familiar. Not to worry. English Touring Opera has anticipated our confusion. “You may recognise this overture” flash the surtitles, to a ripple of...

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Richard II, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - electrifying mixed-race all-female production

Richard II has become the drama of our times, as it walks us through the impotent convulsions of a weak and vain leader brought down by in-fighting among his men. While the Almeida’s recent production starred Simon Russell Beale as a solipsistic...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Guildhall School review - earthy, energetic Britten

It speaks vivid volumes for the superb health of our music colleges that the Guildhall School tackles every aspect of Britten's long and layered Shakespeare adaptation with total confidence. On Friday night, there wasn't a weak expressive link...

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All Is True review - all's well doesn't end well in limp Shakespeare biopic

All may be true but not much is of interest in this Kenneth Branagh-directed film that casts an actor long-steeped in the Bard as a gardening-minded Shakespeare glimpsed in (lushly filmed) retirement. Seemingly conceived in order to persuade...

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